(A bamboo fly rod or split cane rod is a fly fishing rod that is made from bamboo. The British generally use the term "split cane". In the U.S. most use the term "bamboo". Bamboo fly rod porduction and use was approximately 75-year period from the 1870-s to 1950s when fiberglass became the predominant material for fly rods. Nevertheless bamboo fly rods made from skilled makers contiue to be the 'state-of-the - art' in performance and are cherished and revered by their owners.)
With more than 1,000 different bamboo species and nearly hundred different kinds, Tonkin Cane is most often used for fishing rods, replacing calcutta cane which was used extensively prio. This bamboo species originally grew on only approximately 48,000 acres up the Sui Riveer in the Tonkin Gulf region of Guagdong Province in China. It is said to be one of the strongest bamboo species because of its high density of fibers.This high density is what the bamboo fly rod maker is after because this gives the rod its strength and flexibility. It also is selected because of its straightness, and well-spaced nodes.
The bamboo culms are split and shaped into strips of equilateral triangles that taper to precise dimensions. Tolerances are held to .001". These precise dimensions determine the diameter of rod resembles a pencil in shape. the diameter of the rod or blank is measured every few inches. These measurements make a 'taper'. which shows how the rod goes from the fine tip to the thick butt section. This is the recipe for the overall performance of the blank. This process together with the wrapping of the guides with very fine silkthread, varnishing and making of the cork grip and wooden reel seat, can take a cratsman many hours.